Study: Vapes Nearly Halve Prediabetes Risks of Smoking

A new study claims that people who use vaping devices are 22 percent more likely to have high blood sugar – known as prediabetes – compared with those who have never used them. However, traditional cigarettes increase a combustible smokers risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 40 percent.

Researchers from Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. analyzed data from 600,000 people. They looked for links between e-cigarette use and prediabetes – a serious but reversible health condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

To determine the association between e-cigarette use and prediabetes, the investigators analyzed 2016–2018 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). It said to be the largest annual nationally representative health survey of U.S. adults with data on health outcomes, health-related risk behaviors, preventive services, and chronic medical conditions.

“Our study demonstrated a clear association of prediabetes risk with the use of e-cigarettes. With both e-cigarette use and prevalence of prediabetes dramatically on the rise in the past decade, our discovery that e-cigarettes carry a similar risk to traditional cigarettes with respect to diabetes is important for understanding and treating vulnerable individuals,” said Shyam Biswal, the study’s lead investigator.

The researchers state that the possible link between combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes and prediabetes is not understood. However, nicotine, which is in both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes, has long been linked to a rise in blood sugar levels, according to news reports.

The results, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, showed that current e-cigarette users are 22 percent more likely to have prediabetes compared with those who those who had never used them, while former vapers still had a 12 percent higher risk.

Prediabetes is reversible with lifestyle management, according to reports.